Wednesday, July 7, 2010

On Unstoppable Entropy

Ever since I was a baby Mage playing OWOD's Mage: The Ascension I had a thing for Entropy, the coolest sphere of the nine, and the most abused. And being a Riot Boi Omnimancer the idea is sound, so I used it, mostly on my car: a 14 year old Pontiac Grand Am. Being an Omnimancer, also, I did not do anything physically to the car other than keep it well maintained. The effects of my work with Entropy would also bleed out in strange ways: things casually said coming to pass, being the equivalent of a truffle sniffing pig while shopping, getting much better at divination, and even whilst gaming dice stacking into perfect columns when rolled. Entropy wards have kept my repairs relatively to a minimum, though there have been some, none of them were anything that I could not handle finantially.

Sadly, my efforts came to a bit of a flop yesterday as all of the functions of my car that had the word "power" in them (like steering, breaks, etc) stopped working along with the ability to accelerate, while on the downward slope of an incline to a major US Highway, depositing me on said highway without the ability to control my vehicle.

Here, it seems, is something little blogged about in the magical community: Catastrophic Failure. The Gods of Roads and Fortune having my back I am unharmed, and my car undamaged other than the aforementioned nebulous problems. I was able to pull to the side safely, was checked on by a patrolman 10 minutes into the ordeal, and the tow truck arrived early. (I was also treated to some interesting Country Music why in the cab of the truck. Lyrics like "God is great, Beer is good, People are crazy" are hard to get out of ones head.)

My wards failed. Failed. At first I took this a bit personally. But, as it turns out, I am not awesome enough yet to work full out miracles and thumb my nose at nature whole hog. (Whole Hog, btw, is the best way to have barbecue, so I am told.) Failure, in this case, was inevitable.

Now, my spellwork was designed to keep my car together till I could afford a new one. Getting a new car was always postponed to "Next year", for several years now. Fudging the rules a bit, I'd say. You can only stretch something so far until it breaks. In automobiles, and in the human body, we run into the same problem. We want longer lives, more utility, but the physical substances we have to work with are ruled by Saturn's dread gaze, and eventually must be undone. Permanency in the universe would be disastrous. It would throw a jinx on the whole damn system.

I'm reminded of the Lich in fantasy lore. Lich, literally means Corpse or Body. A being so attached to things as they are that they trap themselves in their current body, unable to move on, unable to change. Stuck. While the world around them changes. The same in Vampire mythos, and the same even in Harry Potter a la Voldemort.

Keeping things the way they are in some static paradise can never be the goal. Well.. it can, but it's a shitty goal. Even in Alchemy, if you are truly great, confect the stone, and live for hundreds of years in the same body, your mind, at least must change, or your boon will turn to a bane quickly as friends pass away and the world passes you by.

You cannot beat Entropy. It's one of those Universal Laws, so I've heard. On one pole of Dame Entropy is Fate, the other is Fortune. Fate is fixed Entropy, while Fortune is Volatile Entropy, both stretching from the Mutable position of the present moment. Fortune is the infinite possibility of what could happen, and Fate is what actually happens, solidifying causality within the time stream.

Behind us stretches a field covered in the ashes of past Fortunes never taken, waded through by the steady thread of Fate with a near infinity of future Fortunes ahead, which will themselves turn to ash as the present takes the path of one of those myriad.

Saturn is the highest sphere before you get the the Great Mystery of Being, because under Saturn's gaze we have causality. Above Saturn, all causes and effects happen simultaneously. Entropy can only happen within the bounds of Time, indeed it is the surest measure of Time itself, and both are aspects of the same thing. Above Saturn there is no Time, no causality, all pasts, all futures, all at once. In Ibn Arabi's cosmology that is the Preserved Tablet, and then comes the Pen of Fate that makes things Be.

We cannot ward away Entropy. We must pick the changes we want. Choosing the choice of no change is not an option. That way only lies the path of trying to roll with Fate as it tosses you on the ground, rather than actively choosing to MAKE it.

Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat - Fortune Favors the Bold


Rufus Opus said...

right on. Better a catastrophic failure than a catastrophic success. Did you do a rite for a new car recently? This is how my rites for new stuff tended to manifest in Goetic work.

Me: I need a new car!

Spirit: Ok, I'll break your old one.

Me: That's not what I meant!

Spirit: Yeah, but it's what you said.

Jow said...

No rites for a new car. More like if my wards were rubber bands, they just snapped.

Miss Sugar said...

Bravo! I think this is the best written, best entry you've done to date.

So being another Mage-geek, now having learned a bit, how would you suggest doing real world entrophy rotes?

Rufus Opus said...

I foretell a simple and inexpensive part will fix the problem. It may cost a lot to figure out which simple and inexpensive part will fix the problem, but I hope it's just battery cables.